Is a job called a job when you don’t get paid?

So I’ve been online using all my known resources for job searching.   I don’t want to use this blog as a place to gripe about the economy or politics or anything like that…UNLESS there is something that really gets me going.

But, upon graduation I attended a symposium that my school offered to help me get a leg on a career, post education.  Well, it was really useful if you wanted to start your own gallery or business or go all entrepreneurial.  But for finding a job…it was such a waste of time.  The perfect example is the Art Institute of Chicago posts available positions on artist resource sites rather than their own student/graduate available career development website.  Why do you suppose?  Is it too logical to think that a student at the affiliated school would have the chance at a career in it’s attached museum?

Also I have become frighteningly aware that most art jobs (seriously…most) are offered as unpaid internships or volunteer positions.  Do artists not deserve to have a well supplied career path?  At least in business there is a hierarchy in which someone can get into the job and work their way up to the top or at least something they are really happy about.  Since when did it require a degree PLUS experience to land an entry level art job?  I found a posting for a research assistant job at a large museum that required a Master’s Degree…to be a research assistant!  I have a niece who is doing her undergrad in biology to go on to medicine and she has been been a research assistant during her ungrad study.  I just don’t understand.

Can anyone enlighten me?

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